Deutch, Buchanan, Welch Reintroduce Bill to Protect Seniors from Scams
Today, U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Peter Welch (D-VT) reintroduced the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act, legislation to help protect seniors and their families from becoming the victims of fraudulent schemes designed to steal their assets.
Last Congress, the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act was incorporated as Title II of the Stop Senior Scams Act (H.R. 2610). The Stop Seniors Scams Act passed the House of Representatives on November 17, 2020 and passed the Senate on December 17, 2020. However it was not signed into law.
This bill would create an office within the Federal Trade Commission charged with tracking scams, educating and alerting seniors to new scams, and establishing a more effective complaint system to ensure reports of fraud are quickly addressed by the appropriate law enforcement agency.
One in twenty seniors in the U.S. is a target of fraud schemes, costing them at least $36.5 billion per year. Yet, the National Adult Protective Services Association has found that only 1 in 44 seniors actually report that they are victims of a fraud scheme.
Congressman Ted Deutch: "Seniors are often the biggest targets for scammers trying to confuse and cheat them to give up money and personal information. We need a stronger federal effort to track, target, and warn against these fraudulent schemes. This bill will strengthen important consumer protections to help seniors protect their assets."
Congressman Peter Welch: “Every day, in Vermont and across this country, vulnerable seniors are being ripped off by scam artists. It’s not uncommon for their victims to lose their life’s savings. Our bill would give the federal government additional resources to alert seniors of fraudulent schemes and help stop these criminals in their tracks. This is a bipartisan, commonsense proposal that should be passed immediately.”
Congressman Vern Buchanan: “Seniors have worked their entire lives with the promise of a safe and secure retirement. Unfortunately, criminals are taking advantage of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and working overtime to target them. Scams targeting the elderly threaten more than retirement accounts – they imperil the independence and trust of an already vulnerable community. We must do everything we can to safeguard the savings and dignity of Americans as they enter their golden years against those who try to defraud them.”